What will happen if a foreign gene meets its native counterpart? A comparison between a pair of PgiC loci in Festuca ovina

Project: Research

Project Details


Through horizontal gene transfer, genes can move between species. Among the introduced foreign genes, some may have native counterpart genes in the recipient species (i.e. duplicative horizontal gene transfer). Then how could the two originally separated genes get along with each other at their abrupt encounter after the duplicative horizontal gene transfer? The unique duplicative horizontal gene transfer case that has been identified in the grass Festuca ovina may deepen our understanding of this fascinating question. Among the two genes (PgiC1, PgiC2) encoding the metabolic enzyme PGIC in F. ovina, one (PgiC2) was suggested to be acquired from another grass genus. The foreign PgiC2 gene and its native counterpart PgiC1 in F. ovina can together produce a hybrid protein, which means that this foreign gene will interact with its native counterpart by influencing not only the dose of, but also the biochemical properties of, the protein products of the native gene.
The overall aim of this study is to understand how the foreign PgiC2 gene gets along with its native counterpart PgiC1 in F. ovina. To be specific, we aim to test 1) Whether the ‘pure’ protein products of, respectively, PgiC2 and PgiC1 are different from each other in term of characteristics such as protein stability; 2) whether the PgiC2 and PgiC1 genes cooperate well when forming a hybrid protein together.
Effective start/end date2018/01/012019/03/31